There are many different kinds of Yoga from the sweltering hot to the laughing kind. Yoga for seniors is nothing new, but offers a unique approach to keeping fit. No matter your age, keeping your body flexible, mobile and in good shape is important. While the amount of exercise needed by older adults is less than other age groups, it is still crucial that seniors commit to exercising on a regular basis.
While it is well known that it is beneficial for seniors to take part in cardiovascular exercise, like power walking, flexibility training is just as important. Taking part in flexibility exercise, like Yoga, is not only beneficial in terms of fitness, it is also beneficial for general health. For additional cardiovascular and flexibility exercise ideas for older adults, you can have a look online at Anti Aging World.
Many older adults suffer from long-term health conditions, such as arthritis, high blood pressure, and insomnia. Some studies have suggested that practicing yoga for seniors on a regular basis may help to ease the symptoms of these conditions. Regular yoga sessions may also help to combat fatigue, alleviate chronic pain and reduce stress levels.
It is unrealistic to expect seniors to be able to be as flexible as in younger years, but learning some simple yoga poses can improve quality of life. For example, certain yoga poses increase core strength and balance, which can help to reduce the risk of fall-related injuries.
Yoga for Seniors: Improve Sleep Habits
Many seniors suffer from insomnia, however practicing yoga may help get a better night’s sleep. Studies have shown that yoga can help to improve sleep duration and reduce the time required to get to sleep. This may be because the physical demands of the poses, combined with relaxation and breathing techniques burn energy. By sleeping better at night, you should feel better and more energized during the day.
Chronic Pain Relief
Many older people suffer from chronic pain in their muscles and joints – usually attributed to arthritis. Yoga is known to help reduce chronic pain and make it more manageable.
Reduces High Blood Pressure
Studies have found that Yoga can contribute to reducing high blood pressure levels, which can often be a serious health worry for older people. The calming techniques used in Yoga, combined with the physical activity, can help to lower blood pressure.
Improved Flexibility and Mobility
As we age, our range of motion and flexibility decreases. But, Yoga can be used to increase flexibility and range of motion through physical poses that stretch muscles out and help to lubricate the joints.
Seniors may find that poses involving smooth movements may be more beneficial than poses that require them to stay still. Just a few days of yoga exercises or classes might be all it takes to limber you up and improve mobility and balance.
Most beneficial Yoga poses for seniors:
- One-legged Wind Releasing Pose:
This is a nice, easy stretch that stretches out the muscles in the middle to lower back and the hips. It can help to reduce lower back pain.
Start by lying down on your back, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground.
Pull your left thigh towards your chest.
Straighten your right leg on the floor and keep your foot pointed upwards.
Make sure you keep your pelvis on the ground.
Deep breath until your muscles relax, hold the pose for a few more seconds.
Then repeat with the other leg.
- Staff Pose
An excellent pose for helping aches and pains. The Staff pose can help to strengthen the middle of the back, helping to improve posture. It can also help to make the knees more stable.
Begin by sitting on the floor and stretch your legs out. You may find it easier to sit with your shoulders against a wall.
Suck in your stomach and sit up as straight as you can.
Put your hands on the ground by your hips, make sure your fingers point towards your feet.
Flex your thigh muscles and press them down towards the floor, rotate them inwards and draw your groin muscles towards your lower back.
Gently flex your ankles and point your toes upwards, towards your body.
Hold the pose for ten deep breaths.
- Chair Pose
Chair pose can be good for your heart if practiced on a regular basis. However, the Chair pose is somewhat challenging as it requires the use of many areas of the body at once.
Start by standing up with your feet close together.
Swing your arms to the side and up over your head, make sure the palms of your hands are facing inwards. While doing this, it is important to inhale.
Exhale and then bend your knees so that the tops of your legs and your stomach make a right angle – you should look like you are about to sit down.
Hold the position for as long as a minute.
Then stand up while inhaling, and then exhale and drop your arms back down.
If you struggle with this exercise, you can use a wall to help keep you stable.
- Seated Forward Bend Pose
The Seated Forward Bend pose can help to reduce high blood pressure. To avoid over-straining your back, you can use a chair to help you.
Begin by sitting down on a chair, keep your knees together and place your feet on the floor.
Take a deep breath and inhale.
When you exhale, lean forward, round your shoulders and bend your back slowly forward.
Allow your arms to dangle by your sides.
Hold this pose for four breaths.
This pose should allow your chest to rest on your thighs, and your forehead should be near your knees.
As your body becomes stronger and has more flexibility, you can get rid of the chair and do the position as a standing one.
By taking part in regular yoga sessions, not only can seniors improve their flexibility and mobility. Yoga can also be used to alleviate other health problems and conditions.